Agriculture Current Affair 17 June 2022

Heatwave hits J&K and Himachal apple, Maharashtra orange crops

Heatwave conditions and the absence of pre-monsoon rain have affected two major fruit crops in India: apples and oranges.

While the apple crop in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir is estimated to be down by 25% from last year, orange production in Nagpur and Amaravati in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra is expected to fall by 25-30%, according to farmers.

Prices will likely remain high for both fruits as their availability will be less, adding to the accelerating food inflation. On Wednesday, the Reserve Bank of India raised its projection of retail inflation for the current fiscal year to 6.7% from the 5.7% it had forecast in April.

Revised MSPs still about 47% lower for most of the 14 crops under scheme: Report

If the very low extent of procurement under the MSP is any indication, the very scheme is inefficient, given the low intake and massive price differences between the support and market prices, according to a Crisil NSE -2.76 % analysis. The government on Wednesday announced an average 6 per cent increase in the minimum support prices (MSPs) for this Kharif marketing season (2022-23), which is the highest in the past three seasons.

But going by the past three years’ data, the impact of the MSP has been almost nil on 12 of the 14 crops covered under the scheme, according to the analysis.

According to Crisil, of the 14 crops covered under MSP, only paddy and cotton saw a meaningful procurement during the past three years, with 45 per cent for paddy and 27 per cent of cotton output were procured at MSP but when it comes to groundnuts it was only 4-5 per cent of production and for pulses, it was even less.

Why India holds the key to global rice market outlook

India’s surprise decision to ban wheat exports has raised concerns about potential curbs on rice exports as well, prompting rice traders to step up purchases and place atypical orders for longer-dated deliveries.

Government and trade officials have said India, the world’s biggest exporter of rice, does not plan to curb shipments for now, as local prices remain low and state warehouses hold ample supplies.

That’s a relief for import-dependent countries already grappling with surging food costs, but most of India’s rice growing season lies ahead and any change in prospects for the harvest could alter its stance on exports of the staple grain.

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